I recognize no “founding fathers.”

“[…]we shall powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war against you in all ways and manners that we can, and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and of their highnesses; we shall take you, and your wives, and your children, and shall make slaves of them, and as such shall sell and dispose of them as their highnesses may command; and we shall take away your goods, and shall do you all the mischief and damage that we can, as to vassals who do not obey, and refuse to receive their lord, and resist and contradict him; and we protest that the deaths and losses which shall accrue from this are your fault, and not that of their highnesses, or ours, nor of these cavaliers who come with us…”
–the words of Christopher Columbus, quoted from “El Requerimiento” in Wilcomb Washburn, ed. The Indian and the White Man

Many are under the wrongful impression that the United States of America not only embodies all the ideals of liberation and compassion required in a just nation, but that the formation of ideals in the creation of a utopic society is unprecedented. At best, the concepts of freedom and individual rights on which America was (supposedly) founded were borrowed, pre-established wisdom, appropriated from the Constitution drafted (unwritten) from the Iroquois by racist slave-owners (your beloved founding fathers) and imposed on an unsuspecting population, while modern-day white feminism championed by Abigail Adams and her like was in itself appropriated from Native women. None of the ideas of tolerance, acceptance, or freedom for which the United States are famous–and infamous–are unique or even attributable to the white patriarchal league of so-called “founding fathers.”

While non-Native recipients of the sneer, “Go back home if you hate it here so much” are accustomed to retorting with, “Go back to Europe,” a poignant response to the non-Native non-African circumstance is to draw attention to the fact that Europeans have illegally invaded, slaughtered, conquered, and raped populations in all but 22 countries and now fear the repercussions in “their” country. The reality that a white person would spew anything along the lines of, “Go back home,” to a person whose country he invaded, which includes not only Native American nations–though let’s not be mistaken, Natives should be the focus as we both unwillingly and willfully reap the benefits of stolen Native land–is nothing short of preposterous. I’ll get out of “your” country if you get out of mine.

In Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America, Juan Gonzalez has the same thought,

“If Latin America had not been pillaged by the U.S. capital since its independence, millions of desperate workers would not now be coming here in such numbers to reclaim a share of that wealth; and if the United States is today the world’s richest nation, it is in part because of the sweat and blood of the copper workers of Chile, the tin miners of Bolivia, the fruit pickers of Guatemala and Honduras, the cane cutters of Cuba, the oil workers of Venezuela and Mexico, the pharmaceutical workers of Puerto Rico, the ranch hands of Costa Rica and Argentina, the West Indians who died building the Panama Canal, and the Panamanians who maintained it.”

All countries contemporarily viewed as “backwards” or “depraved” have been made so by an influx of white illegals (the only kind), who ravaged the land and population of its resources. Based on the precedent–and divergent from the precedent–established by these war criminals, I claim the US against the wishes of white settlers as negatively incorporated into my identity, and I live within it with as much peace as I can muster considering the violence in the history of this nation, because those who rule it colonized and occupied the country of my birth. I recognize that the land on which I live rightfully belongs to the Ohlone, was built by slaves and immigrants, and is wrongly credited to white patriarchal and false founding fathers who should be stripped of all dignity. White violence continues to plague Native peoples as well as the descendants of African slaves, and the recent violence in Ferguson perpetuated by white supremacy can attest to this.

I am a settler, and I am prepared to undo this history.

The violence with which Native American nations and the women of which they were composed were tortured, imprisoned, and dehumanized is glossed over even despite clear documentation. A childhood friend of Columbus, Michele da Cuneo, recounts amusedly in his journal the rape of a Native woman,

While I was in the boat, I captured a very beautiful Carib woman, whom the said Lord Admiral gave to me. When I had taken her to my cabin she was naked—as was their custom. I was filled with a desire to take my pleasure with her and attempted to satisfy my desire. She was unwilling, and so treated me with her nails that I wished I had never begun. But—to cut a long story short—I then took a piece of rope and whipped her soundly, and she let forth such incredible screams that you would not have believed your ears. Eventually we came to such terms, I assure you, that you would have thought that she had been brought up in a school for whores.

Native American girls as young as three were sold in slave markets by the colonists, trafficked for both labor and rape.

Much like the abstract concepts of freedom and protection are falsely attributed to the United States, so were many of the innovations invented by the Natives. Contrary to what is taught in history textbooks, Native Americans did not “live like animals”; in fact, while Europeans fetched drinking water from fetid rivers for centuries even after encountering the complex irrigation systems of the Natives, refused to bathe and never removed their clothes, and dumped the corpses of their dead into open pits, the white men were astounded by the Natives’ cleanliness and hygiene. The Natives of Tenochtitlan had a complex network of canals as well as gorgeous floating gardens. They attempted in vain to teach the white men how to bathe.

History books deliberately paint an inaccurate picture of how advanced and well-equipped the Native Americans were, and how strategic the organization of Native cities, because Europe was so shamefully backwards in comparison. In fact, the word “city” is rarely used, if ever, in history books to describe the living organizations of the Natives, relying instead on the connotations of the word–outrageously enough–“settlements.” Even the white colonialists, however, had referred to these places as “cities.”

When we entered the city of Iztapalapa, the appearance of the palaces in which they housed us! How spacious and well built they were, of beautiful stone work and cedar wood, and the wood of other sweet scented trees, with great rooms and courts, wonderful to behold, covered with awnings of cotton cloth […] we went to the orchard and garden, which was such a wonderful thing to see and walk in […] the paths full of roses and flowers, and the native fruit trees and native roses, and the pond fresh water. There was another thing to observe, that great canoes were able to pass into the garden from the lake through an opening that had been made so that there was no need for their occupants to land. And all was cemented and very splendid with many kinds of stone monuments with pictures on them, which gave much to think about. –journal of Bernal Diaz del Castillo

Instead of learning from the Natives, the white settlers dug random holes in search for gold, until they began to starve and dug up corpses of passed away indigenous persons to eat, at which point they captured some Native Americans to force them to teach the settlers how to farm. As Robert Beverley recounts in History and Present State of Virginia on what is known today as the “Thanksgiving” feast, “the colonists offered the Indians a toast to eternal friendship, whereupon the chief, his family, advisors, and two hundred followers dropped dead of poison.” The extermination of the Native American race was approved by the “founding fathers” including George Washington, who wrote, “The Indian country must be destroyed.”

Untold in most history books is the slavery of both Native Americans and Black Africans, so immense and horrifying that entire cities of Natives and Blacks would join to overthrow white settlers. Together, they had been a strong force and white settlers would face defeat over several years.

Settlers of color, these are the rightful founders. You owe the recognition of your rights not to the illegal confiscation of a nation by war criminals, but to the Native Americans who suffered to overthrow them, and later to the Black Power Movement that secured your rights.

Denounce the term “founding fathers” and all its associations; it is unacceptably patriarchal and devotes itself to a legacy of genocide, rape, and nonconsensual governance.

Nahida sums up what is happening, in case you’ve been living under a rock.

When Colonialism Isn’t Enough Boko Haram, the male extremist militia who laughably refer to themselves as People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad, is still terrorizing Nigeria. Scholarly male douchebags of color who have claimed that Boko Haram is responding to a culmination of income inequalities, deprivation & poverty, insecurity, and political corruption fail to explain why Nigerian women who also suffer from income inequalities, deprivation & poverty, insecurity, and political corruption aren’t kidnapping schoolboys to traffic into sexual slavery. Since 2009, the male extremist group has slaughtered thousands and are responsible for the rape of hundreds of schoolgirls.

According to Boko Haram, women needn’t attend school because–as their name reads–Boko Haram’s philosophy is that ‘Western education is a sin.’ This, of course, provides men of color all the more opportunity to blame Boko Haram’s crimes against God on the imposition of the West in Nigeria, a symptom of colonialism that has, again, failed to manifest in the women who’ve suffered not only from colonialism but misogyny. But men of color, like white men, will find any excuse to rape women. What’s the difference between a white man and a man of color? The excuse he gives for rape.

Nigerian women have bravely protested and resisted the terror of Boko Haram, initiating every kind of movement except any that match Boko Haram in organized violence and sheer terror, because Nigerian women, like all women everywhere since the beginning of time, are fucking angels.

ISIS is really uncool, and so is the questionably racist propaganda circulating about them Solidarity to the Iraqi Christians who have been forcibly removed from their homes by the absurdly erratic ISIS, who not only insist that women comply with their restrictive dress codes, but have blown up religious sites revered by Christians and Muslims alike. Is it just me or can men seriously not aim? Did the West impose its educational system on you? Take it out on non-Western women! Did the US unlawfully invade your country and bomb it to the Stone Age? Take it out on Christians who have also been bombed to the Stone Age! In like, the same country. For the love of God, stop scoring into your own goal.

In White People Are Assholes type news, someone spread a rumor that ISIS is mandating FGM for all women and girls, which is bullshit and never happened. Where would you get that idea. Could it be STEREOTYPES.

Update: ISIS crucified 8 Christian members of a rival rebel group. What kind of psycho thinks of things like this? (The Romans, you answer, but it’s a little more twisted to do it to Christians for apostasy. That is like a special kind of sick.)

Israel is trying to be white Oh, what the hell, Israel IS white. They are all European Jews, and anyone who is not a European Jew is sterilized for being the Wrong Kind of Jew. Israel receives $3 BILLION dollars in funding from the US because it’s a US colony. It’s a US colony in which white people from all over Europe, who happen to be the Right Kind of Jew, recreate the ultimate vision of Manifest Destiny, slaughtering nearly a thousand Wrong Kind of Muslims and Christians in a matter of weeks. Certain imams believe the Palestinians are being murdered because they aren’t pious enough. I see your poor application of 13:11 and raise you 29:10.

Muslims in China are fired for being Muslims in China “He told me that his relatives back home were asking: would their fast count if they were forced to eat and drink by the government during the day? […] I asked him how the government does this. He replied that there is a public luncheon (for example his relative is a schoolteacher) and the Muslims are monitored to see if they eat or drink. So there are people whose job it is to check whether Muslims are eating or not. […] I asked what were the consequences if they refused. He said that best case scenario is that they would eventually lose their jobs, and worst case scenario, jail and imprisonment and fines.” via Yasir Qadhiwho-should-have-never-said-that-one-thing.

According to a friend of mine who’s lived in Saudi her whole life, the government will beat you up if you’re a man who’s seen eating during Ramadan. (They leave the women alone, for menses I presume.)

If no one else pisses me off sufficiently, regular posts pertaining to Islamic feminism will now resume.

State of Israel Devises Ethnic Cleansing of Ethiopian Jews and Palestinians

Ayelet Shaked is a parliament member and lawmaker in Israel, the settler state built on Palestinian land, who remarked that all Palestinian mothers “have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists,” appearing unaware that her agenda and occupation of Palestinian land breeds the “terrorists” intent on re-securing their homes and human rights. Although Shaked supposedly represents only the politically far-right of Israel, the rest of the occupying state actualizes her vision, as more than 425 Palestinian citizens have been killed and over 3,000 are injured. At least 100 of these are “terrorist” children.

At Shifa Hospital, a girl who looked about 9 was brought into the emergency room and laid on a gurney, blood soaking the shoulder of her shirt. Motionless and barely alive, she stared at the ceiling, her mouth open. There was no relative with her to give her name. The medical staff stood quietly around her. Every now and then, they checked her vital signs, until it was time. They covered her with a white sheet, and she was gone. A few moments later, a new patient lay on the gurney.

On the side of the occupiers, 18 soldiers are killed, and 2 citizens.

Basically sums up your author's position.
Basically sums up your author’s position.

The tactics of the occupiers to target women to prevent the birth of children are unsurprising, given both the widespread implementation of ethnic cleansing throughout the history of any illegal occupation as well as Israel’s obsession of producing a nation of non-black Jewish citizens in order to maintain the majority. Not only have Bedouin women been aware for decades of the shifty atmosphere,

But the hospital also inspires troubling rumors, the most alarming of which involves a general distrust of Caesarean sections owing to fears of un-consented sterilization. Other rumors suggest that hospitals “use Bedouin women’s placentas for all kinds of experiments and even sell them.”

but these “rumors” are supported as Israeli officials admit that Ethiopian Jewish immigrants are forcibly sterilized. The immigrants themselves have verified this claim.

“They told me if you don’t take the shot, we won’t give you a ticket, so I took the shot, but I didn’t know that it would prevent pregnancies. I didn’t know,” one woman told RT correspondent Paula Slier.

The vaccination, Depo-Provera, forcibly sterilized 13,000 impoverished women, half of whom were black, in the U.S. state of Georgia as a cruel human experiment during which several of the women were unaware that their bodies were being used for immoral scientific advancement. A great many of them died. Consequently, white women were provided with safe methods of birth control.

The same injection has been forcibly used for several years on Ethiopian women in the settler state, a strategic method to curb a population it views as inferior. Forced sterilization, under the guise of “birth control” campaigns, has been paraded by several United States organizations (as well as employed in US-backed Israel) throughout non-white countries, carried out by even reputably benevolent organizations, such as the Peace Corps. As Frances M. Beal writes in “Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female,” “[…]what the authorities in charge of these programs refer to as “birth control” is in fact nothing but a method of outright surgical genocide.[…] Under these circumstances, it is understandable why certain countries view the Peace Corps not as a benevolent project, not as evidence of America’s concern for underdeveloped areas, but rather as a threat to their very existence. This program could more aptly be named the Death Corps.” In the United States, Beal notes, “Threatened with the cut-off of relief funds, some Black welfare women have been forced to accept this sterilization procedure in exchange for a continuation of welfare benefits.”

Following suite after its unrelenting sponsor the United States, the Israeli settlers of Palestine have denied Ethiopian Jewish women relief (apparently you’re not promised the Promised Land by God if you’re black?) unless they accept a vaccine that will sterilize them. In traditional Judaism, sterilization is illegal.

Men Need to Learn to Read Nonverbal Cues

This post is actually a primer to another post I’ll get around to writing sometime, in which I make the argument that that there are racial and sexual implications in men (physically or otherwise) attacking women’s hair. In this particular post there are two themes: the importance of reading nonverbal cues (which is incidental) and the adamant denial by men that their less overtly sexual actions are tempered by any kind of sexual desire or rage. The reason I point this out is because I know there is going to be some jackass out there who accuses me of thinking so highly of myself that I would assume a man physically attacking my hair is sexualizing me without my consent. But that is exactly what he is doing, under the guise of non-sexualized violence.

You see, when it comes to anything related to male desire trumping your personhood, men do this thing, where they think they’re really subtle. A strange man will walk up to a woman, start a seemingly innocuous conversation, and even though the woman knows what he wants, she has to tolerate this until he has revealed his intentions. She can’t ask him to leave her alone immediately, because then he can dismissively assert that she is presumptuous of his actions and thinks too highly of herself. If she rejects his advances too quickly, before they are obvious, he will pretend he never made them and insist that she’s so stuck up that she’s delusional. So she has to put up with this entire mind-numbingly inane conversation, until he finally asks for her number or whether she’d go out with him, and that’s when she’s “allowed” to turn him down. She may not be straight with him and turn him down before, or else she’s conceited (because he was never going to ask, supposedly.) Even though she’s right. Every time.

Every woman reading this knows what I’m talking about. Every single one.

I didn’t know how to describe this before, but I know I’ve read scattered stories in different contexts on the web before I categorized these incidents as belonging to the same phenomenon–one woman recounts the time that a man asked her to dance, and, upon her turning down the offer, he proceeded to claim that she misheard him and he was really telling her she looked fat. In addition to these sorts of examples of men denying they’ve made an advance I can, unfortunately, provide an example myself. When I was around 15, I was friends with someone whom I’d like to believe was generally a good person. He had a bit of an impish, mischievous quality to him, however, which would have been fine if he’d had the sense to know when it was fine.

This friend of mine was between girlfriends. He’d had a number of failed relationships, and although I never told him–he never asked and I do not assert my opinions about why people fail at relationships when those opinions have not been invited–I’d detected it was because he had a fear of losing his independence. Subsequently, I knew the kind of woman with whom he was compatible; she would have to have enough to do in her own life to not care if he didn’t call for weeks.

Although we were friends, I was rather detached with him. I didn’t do this on purpose. When I actually interact with someone, I can be very intense–but I can also disappear for months. The disappearing act isn’t malicious, and it isn’t something I do to be enticing (and certainly wasn’t to entice him); I’m just that kind of person. You know the type. The introvert who needs her time in solitude. I am explaining that I didn’t do this to attract him because, although the complete disregard for my lack of consent to what he tried to do next renders whether I wanted to appear attractive to him or not irrelevant, the fact that I wasn’t trying to attract him speaks volumes about how he either (1) was so self-absorbed he thought otherwise or–even worse–(2) that he didn’t care. That in that moment, his desires trumped mine.

Let’s talk for a minute about that first theory. I happened to be someone who didn’t “threaten” his independence, so he wrongly believed that, because I was the Right Kind of Girl for him (according to his own assessment–I would have disagreed), I must have existed for him. He never considered that the reason I didn’t impose as an obstacle to his independence was because I had more important things to do, and that that meant I had my own life, and, you know, preferences. No, when a man notices you have certain qualities, he thinks you have them for him.

So there we were, one perfectly normal day, when he tells me to come closer. Being 15 (he was 16), I was familiar enough with childhood uses of this line to expect some kind of practical joke. To make things more suspicious, it was an odd request considering we were talking–which meant I was standing rather close to him already. But, to give him the benefit of the doubt (that maybe he was about to tell me a secret) I inched a centimeter closer. He asked me three more times for me to come closer still, and I laughed and refused. (“No, what is it?”)

And then he tried to kiss me.

I knew seconds before he dove from the look in his eyes that it was going to happen. I turned my head. His lips landed on my cheek instead. At this, he looked surprised, and he tilted his head back and laughed awkwardly, and then walked off to class.

I stared after him, fuming and confused.

When he approached me the next day, I addressed the issue directly. “Did you try to kiss me?” I demanded. My tone might have not been the friendliest.

“It wasn’t a kiss,” he grinned. “I was going for a head bump.”

I shook my head slightly, without breaking the deadliest lock in eye contact I’d ever delivered. “And now you’re insulting my intelligence,” I concluded coolly. “You’d best be careful.”

“Come on, Nahida. Trust me, if I tried to kiss you, I would not have missed.”

You tried to kiss me. And you missed.

Years later, at the age of 18, I agreed to meet him at a cafe. As we walked down the street after coffee, he glanced at me and said, “Can I confess something to you?”

Since I’d already forgiven him for the incident the moment after it happened (not for the denial of it) I calmly walked on alongside him.

“Remember that time you thought I tried to kiss you and I said it was a head bump?” He paused. “I… tried to kiss you.”

I didn’t say anything.

“Nahida?” he asked.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“You were so pretty,” he answered nonsensically, “and mysterious. I was really attracted to you. I still am.”

That explained nothing. I looked away from him. “I wouldn’t have been mad.” It was true. I was horrified that he tried to kiss me, but I was more angry that he tried to deny it.

The denial was an explicit demonstration that he cared more about keeping his ego pieced together than coming to terms with the fact that he’d done something wrong and apologizing.

The attempted kiss itself wasn’t the worst thing a man had ever done. If he’d ever discussed anything of the sort with me, he would have known that unless I explicitly expressed interest in someone it was NOT okay to try and kiss me. But he was 16. And he did not persist when I made an obvious indication that it was undesired. Let me make it clear these are not excuses; pointing this out is only an exercise of human sympathy, which even a ball-busting feminist like yours truly is capable of feeling. It was understandable, but it still a Whole System of Wrong.

I shouldn’t have had to say ‘no’ by dodging him;–I should have had the opportunity to say ‘no’ preemptive to the attempt. And I did. The reluctance to come closer, the eyes looking past him, the clenched mouth–they were all signals.

Of course, he couldn’t read them. Didn’t want to.

But I had been willing to forgive all of that. Because he was 16. Because he did not persist after I made it obvious. Because he’d been conditioned to ignore body language unless it was obvious. But what I couldn’t settle easy was the fact that he denied making the unwanted advance. He had not only saved his ego–he had done so by essentially calling a potential victim of assault a liar.

And that, I knew, was deadly. It was the deadliest. It was worse than the attempted kiss.

Men need to learn nonverbal cues; they also need to learn to own up to their mistakes. The fact that he denied making an advance, just as it does in the woman who must patiently tolerate an entire conversation when she knows already where it is headed, grated on my nerves more than the fact that a friend of mine tried to kiss me. Had he read the nonverbal cues, or cared about them, the mistake wouldn’t have been made, and had men not such enormous egos that they believed a woman’s rejection is the worst thing that can happen to them, plenty of women wouldn’t have to recover from not only the discomfort of a dodged assault but from essentially being invalidated of the truth of that experience.

Being able to read nonverbal cues is an indication of high intelligence, but because it is a rather feminine indication of high intelligence, it is misconstrued as exactly the opposite: the woman who preemptively rejects a man’s advances is made out to be so conceited she’s in fact stupid–because of course he wasn’t hitting on you, you airhead.

When, actually, she’s much, much smarter than you—not only in predicting that you’re about to make an advance, but calling out your bullshit when you deny it.

Coming into play with this is also the cultural expectation that women are supposed to be oblivious to a man’s advances. We are conditioned to believe that this “innocence” (and, in most cases, feigned unintelligence) is an attractive quality, and a woman who lets on that she’s smart enough to know what a man is thinking is unacceptably boorish. And has figured out the patriarchy. Which makes her of course, extremely dangerous.

Stop Talking about Drones

This is going to be a quick post, and it’s prompted by various Muslims–and naturally, they’ve pretty much all been men trying to “put things in perspective”–detracting from the tragedy of the Nigerian girls who’ve been kidnapped, raped, and sold into slavery by competing with the attention the kidnapping is receiving, via lists of various things happening to Muslims in other places. There’s some guy’s picture circling around somewhere on the Internet with a sign reading that Michelle Obama’s husband has killed more children with drones than Boko Haram has kidnapped. I’m sure you’ve seen it. I don’t know what the FUCK is wrong with you, but you ALL need to shut the hell up.

Black women have worked HARD for this to even be a news story in the first place. The girls had been kidnapped for a month before it made international news. Maybe this tragedy isn’t tragic enough for you, but despite what you might believe the problems of black women deserve even more of a spotlight than they’ve fought to have. STOP distracting from the issue, stop using their activism as a foothold for yours, stop pushing your interests in children who look like you and pray like you at the expense of theirs. This is especially aggravating because (excuse me while I turn into an US-centric asshat for a moment here) all people of color living in the US who have immigrated here are leeching off the Black Liberation Movement, have always leeched off the Black Liberation Movement, and have time and time again failed to show solidarity with black women.

Can you shut up about colonialism for just one moment? Do you have to take over every conversation about global misogyny? What is it about violence that targets black women or involves sex trafficking that suddenly prompts men to come along and “put things in perspective”?! You there–you, the guys calling out the President’s wife for violence against Pakistani children–you will say you’ve never hurt a child but you are LIVING on a country built on the corpses of children, you are BORN of an ancestry that provided white colonialists with black slaves, you travel between the US and Saudi and engage with governments and empires who have sold out their people, and who still systematically oppress the black populations from which they’ve supplied slaves to colonialists. And you want to point fingers at Michelle Obama’s husband while she’s trying to draw attention to girls who’ve been trafficked? And whom have you killed!

By all means, talk about drones. Do it on your own damn hashtag.

Stop distracting from people who are marginalized in not only their race but their sex–THAT is something you will never understand, even as you continue to use it as a prop to promote your own agendas.

a lesson in logical fallacies, to my critical thinking instructors

no true scotsman

1.1

this cannot be a true Muslim
true Muslims are terrorists
at a fundamental(ist) level

friendly feminist fire:

you cannot be a true
religious woman;
religion is anti-feminist and what
you practice is not

bandwagon

2.1

a man of color
accuses a woman of racism
for rejecting his advances

because white men are
entitled
to women as property

and why should male privilege
be confined
to white men?

loaded question

3.1

“why do they hate us?”

post hoc

4.1

there is an earthquake
because women
show too much skin
a religious leader says

2.2

there they are, playing race
like a card

because that’s what they do

(we never acted as though we
were entitled to women of color;
we’ve no idea where they got the message that
white men have a privilege over women so
if men of color don’t, it’s racist

no idea at all)

blind loyalty

5.1

the united states is never wrong

equivocation

6.1

he did not rape that woman
because it was morning and
she said ‘yes’ the previous night
besides, he is
a liberal hero
and believes in women’s autonomy

tu quoue

7.1

we tortured them but
do you know what they’d do to us?

taboo

8.1

a man tells a group of women
before his argument
that they are not to accuse him of sexism
or behave in other such hysterics

ad hominen

9.1

this is an enemy news source
don’t expect the truth

red herring

10.1

in regards to us not legally protecting
women who are victims of violence,
let’s talk about more
important things

slippery slope

10.2

—like how egypt will found
a caliphate
if the revolution continues

Why Anti-Choice is Pro-Genocide, and Uncomfortable Things about Birth Control

Incorporated into the recent war on women is the acknowledgement that women of color, expressly black women, have been sterilized against their will and made to struggle for their reproductive right to produce a family. There have also been—and are—imperialistic efforts to constrain and control the populations of developing countries through untested and dangerous drugs. While third wave feminists have liberated women with the birth control developed in scientific innovation over the past couple of centuries, how women of color and white women relate historically to birth control shares only the theme of the right to bodily autonomy—while white women were fighting for the right to not become pregnant, women of color in the West, who were often sterilized against their knowledge and consent, were fighting for the right to have a family. And though women in developing nations are perceived as complicit in their ingestion of drugs to prevent pregnancy, the extreme position of disadvantage in which they consent hardly qualifies as empowerment, particularly when these drugs are untested and distributed for the purpose of population control rather than improving the welfare and lives of women.

In the United States, the Republican Party has secured their agenda of policing women’s bodies with a particularly racially preposterous angle: charging that sexism within Asian communities leads to frequent sex-selective abortions in Chinese and Indian immigrant families. I’m thinking, specifically, of Trent Franks, who alleged that “sex selection is demonstrably increasing here in the United States, especially but not exclusively in the Asian immigrant community,” championing feigned concern for the welfare of girls of color despite the fact that a vast majority of Republicans voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.

Franks is also infamous for his statement in 2010 that because of abortion, “far more of the African American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by the policies of slavery.” He is not a black American, but is apparently self-elected to be a spokesperson.

Forced sterilization against women of color, and knowledge of it, has been misappropriated and employed as political weaponry by the very side positioned against women’s choice, urging women of color to vote against abortion rights, even by twisting their own cultures against them via highly questionable allegations constructed on stereotypes, and to forfeit the right to their bodies, rights which have historically been unrecognized, for not only black American women who’ve become the center of feigned conservative concern for anti-abortionist agendas, but overwhelmingly for Native American women.

However as Andrea Smith indicates (in her chapter “Better Dead than Pregnant”) the unavailability of the right to abort a pregnancy has yielded the result that “Native women feel even more pressure to agree to sterilizations or dangerous contraceptives to avoid the traumas of unwanted pregnancies,” as colonization of Native bodies continues through regulation and control. Contraceptives have been tested on Native women, as well as women in developing countries, resulting in cancerous growth and even death, to both ensure these methods are safe for women in the US and to prevent Native women, who are viewed as parasitic and unclean, from having children and continuing the race.

This strategy of ethnic cleansing has been used and is used during the most inhumane of wartimes, in which women are raped as to be ostracized from their communities since they are then viewed as contaminated by the enemy, and are even continued to be raped by their “rescuers” who harbor an extreme hatred of them. So it is no surprise then, with what role rape plays in war, that the same approach is employed in attacks against Native women, as their reproducing bodies are viewed as threats, and their ability to give childbirth is perceived as something that must be destroyed. Among all other ethnicities in the United States, Native women are the most likely to be sexually assaulted by members outside of their race, and are sterilized out of their consent and informed will when they are most vulnerable. These operations are prescribed for everything from complaints of headaches to stomachaches. A woman informed by a doctor at Yellowknife Hospital that she was worried about getting pregnant underwent a sterilization only to discover the culprit of the headaches was a brain tumor. A doctor at the same hospital once screamed at a Native woman for complaining about her stomach hurting, assuming she had been pregnant. And these operations are prescribed even under the guise of tonsillectomies, as two 15-year-old girls were told they were getting their tonsils removed and were actually sterilized. Native women such as the Inuit women at Yellowknife Hospital have also been forced to endure abortions without anesthesia, one doctor stating coldly, “This really hurt, didn’t it? But let that be a lesson before you get yourself in this situation again.” These attacks on the reproductive rights of Native women are, as Smith states, “frontline strategies to the continuing wars against Native nations.” To engage not a painful history but a contemporary era of women of color tormented by sterilizations to favor rightwing politicians in the pretense of allowing these women to have families when in reality anti-choice polices render the onslaught of forced sterilizations is disgusting to say the least: it is a method of genocide.

Silliman notes this in “Policing the National Body” as she writes the contemporary difficulties facing women of color include “the difficulty of maintaining families and sustaining community in the face of increasing surveillance and criminalization.” Compounded with the perspective that women of color are parasites who live off of state welfare and demand government support for their families who grow into criminals, invoking an appropriated reality of forced sterilization to create a mendacious narrative against abortion is sickening and worthy of being classified as evil.

Forced upon women in developing countries, where the colonization devastatingly extends, harmful contraceptives take advantage, under the guise of population control, of women who cannot afford to be pregnant, in order to execute a racist agenda to eliminate “inferior races.” Smith notes that one woman who returned to her doctor regarding a contraceptive implanted into her arm pleaded, “I’m dying please help me get it out,” to which the doctor responded, “Okay, when you die you inform us, we’ll get it out of your dead body.” And as Silliman writes the consistent wrongful incarceration of people of color is the deliberate continuation of binding and controlling them and denying them the manifestation of the basic neoliberal belief that individual rights are located at the core of the individual. Historically women of color, conceived as reproductive threats, have confronted coercive population policies and demanded the safe contraceptives which rightwing politicians are denying them today by misappropriating their narratives.

So I have two points about this: first, where the hell does my birth control come from? And second, have you seen these (super old) pictures of a woman undergoing animal testing to demonstrate how vicious and inhumane it is? I’m not going to post the photos because they are disturbingly graphic, but you can click through to see them.

The point is, we don’t do that to just animals. And I’m sorry to break it to anyone who believes we do. We do that to women of color in developing nations, and I’m a little disturbed by this experiment for multiple reasons: (1) this isn’t solely an experiment (2) the reality wouldn’t happen to that woman (2) is it even possible to execute this without sexualization?